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Research progress on long non-coding RNAs and their roles as potential biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis in pancreatic cancer

  • Wang, Yizhi1
  • Zhou, Li1
  • Lu, Jun1
  • Jiang, Bolun1
  • Liu, Chengxi1
  • Guo, Junchao1
  • Xiao, Gary Guishan2, 3
  • 1 Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 100730, China , Beijing (China)
  • 2 Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, 116024, China , Dalian (China)
  • 3 Center for Functional Genomics and Proteomics, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE, 68131, USA , Omaha (United States)
Published Article
Cancer Cell International
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Sep 15, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12935-020-01550-y
Springer Nature


Pancreatic cancer is one of the main causes of tumor-related deaths worldwide because of its low morbidity but extremely high mortality, and is therefore colloquially known as the “king of cancer.” Sudden onset and lack of early diagnostic biomarkers directly contribute to the extremely high mortality rate of pancreatic cancer patients, and also make it indistinguishable from benign pancreatic diseases and precancerous pancreatic lesions. Additionally, the lack of effective prognostic biomarkers makes it difficult for clinicians to formulate precise follow-up strategies based on the postoperative characteristics of the patients, which results in missed early diagnosis of recurrent pancreatic cancer. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) can influence cell proliferation, invasion/migration, apoptosis, and even chemoresistance via regulation of various signaling pathways, leading to pro- or anti-cancer outcomes. Given the versatile effects of lncRNAs on tumor progression, using a single lncRNA or combination of several lncRNAs may be an effective method for tumor diagnosis and prognostic predictions. This review will give a comprehensive overview of the most recent research related to lncRNAs in pancreatic cancer progression, as targeted therapies, and as biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of pancreatic cancer.

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